The US government does not obey the accounting standards it imposes on corporations.  Instead - Enron style - it ignores future commitments.  The result is an accumulation of what is known as a generational debt.  This figure is the present day value of the cost of delivering future services to people who believe themselves entitled due to the taxes they have paid to finance those same services to others.  It is - in effect - the amount the US government should have put aside if future benefits were to be paid for out of a segregated pot - like a pension fund.  According to The Economist [August 2nd 2003] this amount is $44,000,000,000,000 - or about $147,000 for every man woman and child in the USA. $147,000 is the current per-capita value of  promises for which there is currently no funding.